Sammy Adams rocks Zorn Arena

Boston singer closed out star-studded cast for on-campus concerts this year


Photo by Austin Mai

Sammy Adams looks out to the crowd before he jumped right into his hit song “Coast 2 Coast” at the beginning of the show.

Story by Austin Mai and Nick Erickson

While one of his hit singles may be called “I Hate College,” pop and hip hop artist Sam Winser, better known by his stage name Sammy Adams, showed love to UW-Eau Claire Sunday night as he performed in Zorn Arena.

The Boston-born singer/songwriter hit the national scene in 2010 after his debut album, “Boston’s Boy,” soared to the top of online hip-hop charts the week of its release. He was on stage for about an hour, performing some of his more well-known songs like “Only One” and “Coast 2 Coast” to a crowd of about 900 people.

Wisner, who combined his real first name as well as middle to give his stage name full New England flavor, was the third show University Activities Commission put on this school year.

Top billboard artists Ingrid Michaelson and singer/comedian Bo Burnham also called the Zorn Arena stage home for a night.

Yetunde Oyeyinka of UAC said the concert commission of the organization has a new focus on bringing bigger names to campus. It sent out a campus-wide survey with various big names that were doable financially.

“We definitely rolled some dices with our budget, and it was pretty successful,” Yetunde said. “We just tried to give campus what they asked for.”

Wisner became popular among college students earlier in the decade when the majority of his tours took place on campuses and nightlife locations throughout college towns.

Despite the timing of the concert, 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, a time when many college students get around to homework, the crowd was still energetic and sang along to most of his songs.

Eau Claire has seen a recent push for hip hop, especially in the last two school years. Brian Collins, better known as Kid Ink in the music industry, performed at Zorn Arena in November 2013, and Burnham performed this February in the same venue.

Junior Will Armstrong said Wisner’s show lived up to expectations, and the atmosphere inside was pretty electric and exposed the campus to the genre.

“It brought a new culture to the Eau Claire campus, and everyone loved it,” Armstrong said. “I wish it would’ve been longer.”

Oyeyinka also said the concert went well and UAC will continue to look into getting bigger names on campus as long as the budget allows it.

“It was a pretty good turnout, and everybody was super excited about him being there,” Yetunde said.

Wisner ended the night by singing his most popular song, “All Night Longer,” as an encore.

Wisner drew a big ovation from the crowd when he proclaimed he enjoyed Eau Claire’s campus more than UW-Madison, the flagship school in the UW System.